Local News

Streator moves forward with 3 more demolitions

State comes through with grant money

The Streator City Council previously placed the demolitions of structures at 704 Harrison St., 8 Genseke Court and 309 N. Vermillion St. on hold as it awaited state funding.

The city now received word the grant money is available.

City Engineer Jeremy Palm said the demolitions will occur this month, in order to prevent its authority to demolish structures on those properties from expiring. GM Recycling will handle the demolitions of structures at 704 Harrison St. and 8 Genseke Court and Robert Shay Land Improvement will perform the demolition at 309 N. Vermillion St.

The total cost of the three demolitions is $41,450.

“This saves us money, because we won’t have to start the legal process over again,” Palm said.

In 2021, the city planned to demolish eight structures, but it had to put three of them on hold because of the status of funding from the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s program.

City plans to keep Sikich as auditor

The City Council agreed in consensus to renew its agreement with Sikich to perform its required independent audit for the next three years. If Sikich underperforms in the audit, the city will have the option to opt out of the agreement. Sikich has failed to perform the audit in a timely manner the past two years; in 2019 because of accounting issues with the library and in 2020 because of COVID-19 activity. City Manager David Plyman said these issues are rectified and the city expects the audit to be performed in a timely manner. Plyman said Sikich is a well-regarded auditing firm, performing many audits across the state.

The City Council will vote on the agreement at its next council meeting.

City updates international building code

The city plans to update its building codes in-line with 2021 International Building Codes. This is important in receiving a good rating for fire protection, which influences the amount of money residents pay for homeowners insurance, Palm said.

Almost all of the updated codes will be adopted, but Palm recommended the city to continue to exempt new homes from having to be built with a sprinkler system. Other communities also have opted out of adopting this code considered to be expensive for new residential construction.